Circle Builder | Artist | Collaboration Champion

Maeli Goren is a multi-hyphenate artist and educator telling inclusive stories that bring joy, because that is an act of activism.

Maeli is especially drawn to heightened text, plays that uplift women's voices, and theater for young audiences. The characters that talk to her inhabit diverse human, puppet, creature, and force-of-nature bodies and experiences. She loves stories that make their own music. She believes children are wise.



Maeli Goren is a director, actor, playwright, musician, and educator originally from Chicagoland.  As a director and playwright, Maeli has collaborated with Princeton Summer Theater in New Jersey (Metamorphoses, Sparrow Jones/Jersey Devil, The Children's Hour, and A Midsummer Night's Dream), with Yale Cabaret (The Whale in the Hudson, How to Relearn Yourself, and Untitled Bathtub Theatre Project), the Yale Center for British Art (Tales for Winter), and Yale Repertory Theater (Manahatta, Assistant Director to Laurie Woolery) in Connecticut, and with Interrobang Theatre Project, (HER)story, 16th Street Theater, 20% Theatre Company, Something Marvelous, and Chicago Dramatists in Chicagoland.  As an actor, Maeli appeared as Juliet in Trinity Repertory Company/RILA’s 2016 mobile, bilingual production of Romeo and Juliet in Rhode Island and has enjoyed many collaborations in the Chicago storefront scene.

​​Eternally flabbergasted by the wisdom of children, Maeli is a company member of PlayMakers Laboratory, professional theater artists collaborating with student writers throughout Chicago, and a former ensemble member and facilitator with Imagination Theater, a touring company using participatory theater to help young people practice social/emotional tools.  She formerly taught 7th and 8th grade English as a Second Language and has worked as a teaching artist with companies in Chicagoland, Providence, and New Haven.  She served for two years as Managing Director of 16th Street Theater in Berwyn, IL, where she oversaw all educational programming including residencies in three Berwyn/Cicero high schools and a summer program commissioning professional playwrights to create original works for young actors.  Maeli was also the recipient of a 2018 Illinois Arts Council StARTS grant to lead teach a devising residency in a Berwyn elementary school for students in grades 1-3.  She received a 2019 Yale Presidential Public Service Fellowship for her work directing plays by middle school playwrights for the Dwight-Edgewood Project at Yale Repertory Theatre and the Yale School of Drama.

Maeli earned her AB in Comparative Literature from Princeton University (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) with certificates in Theater and Brazilian Studies. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in directing at Yale School of Drama, where she recently directed Benjamin Benne's In His Hands; or the gay christian play for the Langston Hughes Festival of New Plays and Hamlet as her second year Shakespeare project.  She is currently a Co-Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret's historic socially distant 53rd season.  Her anticipated graduation from Yale School of Drama is June of 2021.

When she's not theater making, Maeli enjoys dog appreciating, flute playing, yoga, restaurant hopping, and learning, because she is a big ole' nerd.



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